Authorities in Italy have called off the search for a missing American airman, Halex Hale, after he went missing from his base in northeastern Italy over a week ago.
According to CBS News, a U.S. Air Force spokesman, Capt. Michael Hertzog, announced Sunday that Italian police have called off the search for Staff Sgt. Halex Hale after searching for him for three days in the area where he was last seen on July 2.
Nothing could be found to point officials in the right direction in order to find the missing airman.
“They found no evidence of any kind, physical or otherwise,” Hertzog said.
Hale is a 24-year-old from Middletown, Indiana. Halex is assigned to the 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano Air Base north of Venice, Italy, and has been stationed there since 2015, according to the Huffington Post.
Hale has been in the Air Force for six years and served in Afghanistan, according to his mother, Amy Hale. She expressed her frustration in not knowing where her son’s whereabouts are in Italy.
“We’re just devastated. It’s very trying. I’ve got to believe. Keep up the faith. Keep the prayers coming. I feel my child needs me and I can’t get to him.”
Hale’s father, Lance Hale, and an uncle came onto the scene in Italy on Friday while searches were still carried out by authorities in Italy, the U.S. Air Force, and volunteers.
Halex Hale was last seen at a friend’s cookout in Sacile, about nine miles off the base where he is assigned. Hale was supposed to visit another friend’s house after the cookout, but he never made it to his destination.
According to his mother, the house where he was supposed to show up was not far away. In fact, Hale left the cookout on foot to visit the other friend, and that’s when he seemingly vanished without a trace.
Oddly, Hale left his cell phone and keys behind.
CBS News reports that a source claims Hale was drunk on the night he disappeared, and he may have fallen into the canal, which was near his friend’s house. The canal was higher than usual because of storms, and the high waters may have carried him away.
Area hospitals had been checked for any signs of the missing airman, but nothing turned up.
On Friday, Aviano Air Base released a photo of Hale on Facebook in order to help the authorities in Italy to find him. A part of the caption read, “Italian law enforcement officials are leading the investigation. If you have information on his whereabouts please contact the base Law Enforcement Desk at DSN 314-632-7200 or Commerical (39) 0434-30-7200. Further details will be released when they are available.”
In order to put a face to Hale’s name, police in Italy circulated a missing person’s bulletin on national media and did not stop with Italy. They also gave the bulletin to authorities in neighboring countries.
The base in Italy also released a video to help trigger memories people may have of seeing Hale and to get people to be on the lookout for the missing airman.
Hertzog did not believe that Hale had any difficulties with anyone that may have led to his disappearance, but he would not comment on any cellphone, credit card, or vehicle use. He said those items are a part of an ongoing investigation.
Air Force officials will not speculate on what might have happened to Halex Hale while he was in Italy. The U.S. Air Force searched alongside the authorities and volunteers in Italy to find Halex Hale, and it is still unclear whether the Air Force continues its search for the missing man.
[Image via Shutterstock]